Four Firkins launches another liquor law battle

Four Firkins fights for schwag

Four Firkins fights for schwag

Surly's big announcement last week of its intention to build a new brewery/restaurant/event center has the Twin Cities beer world abuzz. The proposed changes to state law necessary for Surly to realize the dream facility already have forces on both sides gearing up for an impending statehouse fight. But there is another, quieter beer battle brewing at the Capitol, aimed at loosening the state's laws governing liquor stores. [jump]

Jason Alvey, owner of the Four Firkins Specialty Beer Store in St. Louis Park, is the force behind legislation that will pave the way for the state's liquor retailers to sell branded caps, T-shirts, and other clothing schwag in the store. Currently there is a limited list of items that "exclusive liquor stores," as they are called in the statute, are allowed to sell. If a thing isn't on the list, it isn't allowed. Alvey's proposed change to the law would add "clothing marked with the specific name, brand, or identifying logo of the exclusive liquor store, and bearing no other name, brand, or identifying logo" to that list.

I remember talking to Alvey shortly after he opened the store two years ago. He had just purchased a load of Four Firkins branded T-shirts only to discover that he wasn't allowed to sell them. He ended up having to give all of them away. If he is successful with this proposal, he won't have to do that again. It would also allow other fine liquor stores in the state to peddle their own fashionable duds.

You can view the full text of the legislation here.

Michael Agnew
Certified Cicerone
A Perfect Pint